How Much Does Hail Damage Devalue a Car?

Posted on: April 29th, 2022 by Accurate Auto Body Shop 1 Comment

It’s hail season in Colorado, and since Colorado usually has the second-highest amount of hail damage claims in the US, there are good odds that your car will be damaged by hail this season. This can be a huge blow if you have a valuable car that you were hoping to sell or refinance. The potential loss due to devaluation might hurt a lot.

However, how much hail damage actually devalues your car will vary depending on how you’re thinking of the car’s value. In practical terms, hail damage might not devalue your car much, if you get the hail damage repaired properly by a reputable auto body shop.

Three Types of Car Valuation: Insurance, Appraisal, and Resale

Your car’s value varies depending on who’s doing the evaluation and for what purpose.

How Your Insurance Company Considers Value

hail damage to a vehicle Your insurance company keeps one tally of your car’s value, which is basically how much they’re willing to pay to fix it. This value depends on a formula that insurance companies and regulators agree on. It’s related to things like your car’s make, model, age, and mileage.

As they pay to repair your car, they subtract these payments from the value. To your insurance company, essentially 100% of the cost of hail damage comes out of the value of your car. They’ll declare your car “totaled” when the cost for repairs meets or exceeds their tally of your car’s value. For some types of damage, this means that your car is literally a total loss and can’t be insured without going through some difficult procedures in addition to the costly repairs.

However, with hail damage, having a totaled car doesn’t keep you from driving. It just means the insurance company cuts you a check and washes their hands of responsibility for your car. Your insurance policy will change to reflect the fact that they’re no longer covering damage to your car. Silver lining: this might reduce your premiums. But it comes with a very dark cloud: future repair costs will all come out of your pocket.

The Appraisal Value of Your Car

The appraisal value of your car is an estimate of how much you can sell your car for. A car-value expert (appraiser) considers the car’s make, model, age, mileage, and condition. The appraisal value of the car limits what you can get for trading your car in or whether you can refinance your car.

To an appraiser, hail damage devalues your car by more than 100% of the cost of repairs. Anyone buying your car would have to pay to repair it, but the hail damage also reduces your car’s attractiveness, making it less appealing to buy.

However, to an appraiser, you can gain back much of the lost value by repairing the damage at a reputable auto body shop. Potential owners don’t have to repair the car, and it can look like new despite the former damage. You’ll have to declare hail damage when selling the car, but even if your insurance company has declared the car totaled, the value won’t be dropped fully down to zero.

The Actual Resale Value of Your Car

While an appraisal of your car is an estimate of what your car might sell for, it could be significantly different from the actual resale value of your car, which is whatever you might be able to get for it.

As with appraisal, the resale value of your car increases if you repair hail damage, often by more than the cost of repairs.

However, even if you don’t repair hail damage, there are often buyers who are prepared to look past cosmetic damage to get a car they can afford and that will get them from point A to point B. Cars with a reputation for reliability, such as Hondas and Toyotas, often sell for a good value despite hail damage if you take the trouble to sell it yourself and can wait patiently for the right buyer.

Repairs That Can Restore Car Value in Denver

hail damage to vehicle Don’t despair if your car has hail damage. Even if your insurance company declares your car a total loss, repairing hail damage can restore much of the practical value of your car.

At Accurate Auto Body, we can often use paintless dent repair to remove hail dents and help your car look like new. In other cases, we might need to replace panels or repair them in ways that require repainting. Fortunately, our advanced color matching system helps ensure the painted parts match the rest of the car. It won’t look like it’s a repaired car.

Our Focus on You Service™ system helps us understand your repair goals. We will first talk to you about your repair goals, then recommend repairs that will achieve your goals. We will work around your schedule, making it convenient for you to drop off your car and pick it up. Plus, with our guaranteed completion date, you’ll experience minimum disruption to your schedule. And our guaranteed estimate means you won’t pay more for your repairs than we estimate.

Want to learn how much your hail damage repairs will cost? Please call 303-344-2212 or use our online form to schedule a free estimate at Accurate Auto Body in Aurora.


One Response

  1. Olivia Smart says:

    Thank you for explaining that hail damage won’t necessarily mean that your car is totaled. My sister has been worried about this since she found her car damaged by hail this morning. I’ll be sure to share this with her so she can be a little more calm when talking to her insurance company later.

Leave a Reply